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What is the Relevance of Preterism Today?

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By Duncan - Posted on 27 August 2005

by Duncan McKenzie
Tony in his article "Needs Convincin" posed a very important question. Basically it is, what is the relevance of preterism today in terms of how we Christians live our lives and impact our world? I decided that this question is important enough to deserve a small column.Tony in his article "Needs Convincin" posed a very important question. Basically it is, what is the relevance of preterism today in terms of how we Christians live our lives and impact our world? I decided that this question is important enough to deserve a small column.Tony---

You have raised a very important question and I think it is getting lost in the pro/con talk about America. Let me quote the question you raise that I think is most important.---

".. I keep asking myself when reading articles and blogs on this site if anyone has anything to say about how all this theology is to be worked out in practise, what difference does it make to our lives or to our planet. Most of the contributers are American and it discourages me to think that christian men and women who live in the most feared and disliked nation in the world seem only concerned with their own spiritual existence and not with the absolute mess they are creating all over the globe. It time you all got your heads from out of your behinds and faced reality, weither or not you believe in the second coming,or the ressurection of the dead etc: there is an awful lot of Jesus's teaching that isn't being applied in our world, show me how preterism can be relevant to the needs of this planet and it's inhabitants and if you convince me ..I'll join up."---

Other than the America bashing part, this is a very important question. What does preterism mean in terms of how we as Christians should be living our lives today? You are right, this question isn't addressed much by preterists.

Basically the implications of the fact that the Second Coming happened in AD 70 are that the saints (all believers in Jesus) were given the spiritual rule of this planet at that time.

Consider Daniel 7:15-27----

15 "I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 'Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings F22 which arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.' 19 Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. 23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. 24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute F23 the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 26 'But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'---

The fourth beast was Rome (some would say Greece, but that would mean that the kingdom of God was fully established in the 2nd century BC; that doesnt fit.) Without getting bogged down in who the little horn was (I am writing a book on that), it was at the Second Coming (Dan. 7:22) that the saints were given the kingdom of God (the spiritual rule of this planet). This is also shown in Revelation. The one who overcame (i.e. stayed true to Jesus to the time of His Second Coming cf.Rev. 12:11) would be given power over the nations.

Rev. 2:26
"And he who overcomes and keeps My works until the end to him I will give power over the nations."

This same concept of entering into rule with Jesus over the nations is found in Revelation 3:21

"To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."

Too often preterists give the sense that everything ended at AD 70. The truth is that the believer's kingdom reign in this world fully started at that time; the kingdom reign was fully given to the believer at AD 70. Let me quote Dan. 7:22 and 27 again.---

22. ...the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High and the time came for the siants to possess the kingdom.

27"Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'"---

So how do we reign with Jesus. I would say that we do so by prayer, sharing God's word and sharing God's love (in both word and deed). I think the primary way we reign is by prayer. I believe the essence of prayer is still that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If all we do is pray however then we are not doing enough. I believe that we are also called to make a tangible difference in our world. That is why I say we share God's love in both word and deed. We all have different ways we can do this right where we are at.

What preterists should be doing today is getting off our behinds, getting on our knees and then going out and making a practical difference in our world. If we don't do this then our preterism is mostly a mental exercise. Tony, assuming you are a Christian, you should be doing the same thing. Do a little less America bashing and a lot more praying. By the way Tony, this column was not really meant to convince you; it is more to admonish my preterist brethren. God Bless.

Duncan

frog's picture

From Tony alias Frog,
You're absolutely right Duncan that over on the page devoted to my discourse with Virgil we seem to getting bogged down with the American versus Socialism thing, I must admit to being rather surprised at the strength of reaction I've had
for virgil and the others from just asking how this very interesting theology works out in practice, I feel that any sensitive person should be concerned with the desperate needs that many people have is our world and christians of every doctrinal persuasion should be doing what they can to change this.
I believe that any new slant on the truth should have practical outworking or it is doomed to become of only minority interest.
I have in 30 years of christian life never heard any one speak of Preterism, not one and even my
progressive nonconformist friends haven't heard of it. So it intersts me greatly and my questions are a direct result of my genuine interest.
I feel that service, justice, mercy and love are the very essence of christianity, the core that makes it different from other faiths, and Preterism to be taken seriously has to have these elements at its core.
Dispensationalism does ring true to me either but they have many in their number who probably like myself aren't as concerned with how or when the end will come (or came) and are more concerned with the toubles of today.
It is true that christianity isn't cutting it worldwide or even locally, we have completely lost touch with a large proportion of the worlds population and it's various needs, and I am not sure that many of us actually care.
You say we (christians) are reigning, if that's true do you think we are dong a good job and if not what would you change?
Thank you for your comments,
Tony (Frog)

Duncan's picture

Hi Tony,

To be honest I am not surprized by the reactions you got; you came on strong and you got strong reactions. If we started talking politics you would most probably get strong reactions from me also; so lets not.

Dispensationalism has looked for God's kingdom to come in the future. That doesn't lead to much action in the present. Preterism has correctly said the kingdom has already come. Unfortunately the preterism I have read has emphasized verses like 1 Cor. 15:24-28 which make it sound like everything is tied up in a neat bow and we should just kick back. Well spiritually everything is tied up in a neat bow in terms of Satan and spiritual death being defeated. That does not mean that we kick back however. Ad 70 was the beginning of the believer entering into their full reign with Jesus. That is what Daniel 7:21-22 is showing, the coming of God which defeats the beast (which is also shown in Rev. 19:11-21 where the Word of God comes and defeats the beast). That is not the end of things it is the beginning. the greatness under the whole heaven was given to the saints at that time (Dan. 7:27). The one who was true until the Second Coming (and believers since) was given power over the nations at the AD 70 Second Coming.

This is a very important concept; it tells us that we partner with God in running this planet (spiritually of course). From this perspective, instead of looking to God to change something, the question becomes how can we partner with God to change something. Ever since the garden it has been God's plan to partner with man in running this world (Gen. 1:28).

The foundaiton of our partnering with God is prayer, in essence praying that His will be done in a given situation. From there each of us should seek God on how we can make a practical difference in the world. That is the essence of what I am saying. Its relatively simple, I just haven't seen this message communicated very much in preterism and I think it needs to be. Otherwise preterism can become as ineffectual (in terms of affecting our world) as dispensationalism.

Duncan

Duncan's picture

Tony I forgot to put in the reference to my statement about believers ruling over the nations beginning at AD 70. I did in my column but didn't do it here. It is Rev. 2:26-27. Let me throw in a couple more at no extra charge ;-)

Matt 21:31-41. The kingdom was taken from the Jews and given to God's new covenant people at the coming of the owner of the vineyard, the second coming (cf. Is. 5).

See also the parable of the Minas Luke 19:11-27), where at the Masters coming (the second coming) his servants are given reign over cities (not to be taken literally, again, it is a spiritual kingdom).

The kingdom of God would come with full power at Ad 70, in the lifetime of some of Jesus' hearers (Mark 8:38-9:1).

By the way Dan. 7:13-14 is showing the ascension of Jesus. Dan. 7:21-22 is showing the second coming of Jesus,the coming of God (cf. Rev. 1:13-14 where the son of Man also has the attributes of the Ancient of Days, the white hair, symbolic of the eternallity of the Ancient of Days: Jesus is both God and Man). The two events of Dan. 7 (13-14 and 21-22) are not related chronologically, but they are related conceptually. It was Jesus receiving all power in heaven and earth at AD 30 (cf. Matt. 28:18) that gave the saints the right to inherit the kingdom at God's coming in AD 70.

Duncan

frog's picture

Thank you Duncan, Yes let's leave politics aside for the moment !

It is this reigning now concept that interests me, and why I was asking if we are doing a good Job.

Although a Christian, I come from a lapsed Jewish background (mother, grandmother etc:) and in my study of the old testiment I have often wondered what would have happened if the Jews had fulfilled their side of the old covenant and instead of continually fighting their neighbours they had gone out and tried to convert them to Judaism ( this was an option) what would have happened if they had actually cared for the widows and poor among them etc , would as 'Messiah' Christ have come to give the kingdom in to their hands and what would that kingdom have been like.

One would suppose that Christ would be lifted up just the same ( not in the same way perhaps!) and all peoples would he drawn to him and come into the 'old' covenant, which would have been the only covenant (there would have been no need for a new one if the old one was working)

The reason I am drawing this into the discussion is that I think that when we talk about the kingdom we have to be very clear what manner of thing we are describing,what are it's attributes, what very simply, does it look like ?

Jesus claimed to have come to fulfil the law, whereas most churches ,where the dispensational interpretation is taken seriously, only see this fulfilment of the law in terms of Christs work on the cross, in the sacrifice of the innocent lamb. I have never heard anyone expound what it means for Jesus to have fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law. I believe that the kingdom of heaven ( his reign) on earth should be that fulfilment of the law.

For me, the big difference between the old testiment and the new is that the old testiment was about living under the law and looking forward to the promised sacrifice of the lamb caught in the thicket (the messiah) and the new testiment differs in as much as it starts with the
sacrifice and from then on we live above the law(as in not under the law, I do not mean outside the law!!).
The new covenant people should be the ongoing fulfilment of the law, and so in the outworkings of this we are called upon to make provision for those who can not make provision for them selves, widows are the example given, they had no social status, no income, they were misfits in the Jewish society, so were the lepers and yet the law provided a place and a protection for both.
You see perhaps clearer now why I find it so hard to be convinced of anything that negates our responsibility for those that are unable to provide for themselves.
It is not politics perhaps but it is law.

When one approaches the idea of the 'covenants' like that ,then when Christ says 'I have not come to take away from the law etc: it starts to makes sense, he has not come to take away any of the clauses that were put into the old covenant to ensure that the people of God were in right relationship with himself, each other and the planet (the old covenant covered all those areas)
So naturally these clauses would be part of the new covenant (many of them were just plain common sense anyway)

Preterism as a key to understanding the new testiment ought to have an unlocking effect on the old testiment too (not just the prophetic bits but also the law)

I hope this contributes to and not distracts from the discussion.
Tony.

Duncan's picture

Hi Tony,

Could it have been different for Israel? Yes. Was it going to be different? No and God knew it. Read Deut. 31:14-32:47 (no open theism there). God said the children of Israel would play the harlot and be destroyed (Deut. 31:16-17); this is what Revelation 17-18 is showing the destruction of the great harlot. At the AD 70 destruction of harlot Israel the Gentiles would rejoice with God’s true people (Deut. 32:43)

Some of this could have been different, however. Consider what Jesus said.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate.

Did Jerusalem have to be destroyed, probably not. I mean it was going to be (Dan. 9:24-27) but that was more because of the Jews choices. Either way Jesus had to die (John 3:14-21) but the Romans could have done that without the help of the Jews. The Temple had to be destroyed (it served no purpose after the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God). The Jews could have done that themselves or an earthquake etc.

The kingdom of God however is a spiritual kingdom (John 18:36; Rom. 14:17). That is why its coming would not be a visible event (Luke 17:20). It would be established in heaven at the AD 30 ascension of Jesus (Revelation 12:1-12); it would be fully established on earth at the AD 70 Second Coming (2 timothy 4:1; cf. Luke 19:11-27) at the destruction of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:7). This is the AD 30/70 connection of Daniel 7:13-14 (Ad 30) and Daniel 7:21-22 (Ad 70). It was Jesus receiving all power and authority at Ad 30 that made it possible for the saints to fully possess the kingdom at AD 70.

Again, I am sorry for the barebones explanations. I don’t have time for much more. I have to get back to my book. I am not sure how much I can respond after this. I must say, however, that I do very much enjoy the questions you raise.

God Bless,

Duncan

frog's picture

Thanks Duncan,
I'll let you get back to your book and read some books myself on the subject. I very much enjoyed
reading your comments.
Tony.

Duncan's picture

Tony,

One last point. The AD 30/AD 70 connection of Dan. 7 (in terms of ruling) is shown in Revelation 3:21.

To him who overcomes [to the time of the Second Coming in AD 70] I will grant to sit with Me on My throne [at that time] as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne [at AD 30 cf. Acts 2:14-36].
brackets mine

Tony, I apologize, my explanations of what I have written here have been pretty bare bones. It would take at least a hundred pages to fully back up what I am saying (which I have written in my book; I am closing in on 700 double spaced pages). What I have written here may not make total sense to you; it should hopefully make some sense to my preterist brethren, however.

God Bless,

Duncan

frog's picture

Sorry about the gramatical errors and typing mistakes I hit the OK button before previewing it.
Tony.

Sam's picture

Duncan,

This is where the preterist Weltenshaunng comes into play and why I can draw off of a great deal of postmillennial thinking and reconstruction. Preterist philosophy and theology need not abandon the entire Christian/historic enterprise when it comes to economics (Adam Smith - Gary North), politics (Abraham Kuyper/ Herman Dooyeweerd), religious freedom (Bastiot/William Black), penology and criminal law (Rushdoony, Gary DeMar). Preterism offers a view without an end. I reject Open Theism, but preterism does support Open Futurism. It's a bright day and coming of Jesus gives us an optimistic and powerful view to elimate hunger, war (Isaiah 2.1-5), greed (checks and balances), poverty and the like.

Samuel Frost
www.christcovenantchurch.com

ThomasS's picture

I'm sure you mean "Weltanschauung"...

:)

Thomas S.

Sam's picture

Sie sind korrekt. Danke für das auf mich heraus zeigen.

Sam

Duncan2's picture

Sam,

That's easy for you to say.

Duncan

Duncan's picture

Sam,

You took the words right out of my mouth! It really is all about the preterist Weltenshaunng isn't it? ;-) I was going to put all that in my next installment but now I guess I don't have to!

Seriously, thanks for the positive input. I am currently finishing the chapter on Revelation 13 for my book and I could really use you expertise on the gematria of the mark of the beast. I hope you don't mind; I was planning to send you the chapter in a week or so.

Duncan

Sam's picture

The Gemetria of Rev 13 should now be aware of the recent 616 papyrus-reading. That can be found here:
http://www.papyrology.ox.ac.uk/beast/beast616.html

I would love to read it.

Sam

Sam's picture

Virgil, have you completed the "Frostian German Translator" for the site yet? :)

All joking aside... great comment, Sam.

Virgil's picture

No..it's the "Frosteaanic" translation...bwehehe.. :)

Sam simply rules...i really have no other words regarding him!

ThomasS's picture

Duncan,

You wrote:

"The fourth beast was Rome (some would say Greece, but that would mean that the kingdom of God was fully established in the 2nd century BC; that doesnt fit.)"

I am not able to see how you can reach this conclusion. According to the Book of Daniel, God's kingdom would be established *after* the fall of the fourth kingdom. Which in fact excludes your identification of the fourth kingdom with the Roman Empire.

Regards

Thomas S.

Duncan's picture

Hi Thomas,

You are exactly right that the destruction of the fourth beast is talking about something more than the destruction of the Roman Empire (which obviously did not happen in AD 70). I go into detail on this in my book and I really don't want to comment on it before the book comes out (sorry).

I will make a couple of comments on the hypothesis that Daniel is mainly talking about the 2nd century BC and Antiochus IV, however.

First Jerusalem and the temple were not destroyed in the second century BC (Dan. 9:26-27). That happened in AD 70. Daniel 12 also shows AD 70 as the end point as it says all that was talked of in Dan. 11 and 12 would be fulfilled by the (AD 70) destructtion of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:7). Included in that are the great tribulation and the resurrection (Dan. 12:1-2). Jesus certainly saw one of the abomination of desolations in Daniel ( I would say the one in Dan. 9:27 and 12:11) as yet to happen in his generation, not in the second century bc. (Matt. 24:15-35). Was Jesus wrong on this?

I am sorry I am not giving you much more. I have written many pages on this subject that we are just touching on and I have a lot to say but just not right now. I am saving it for the book. I do acknowledge that you bring up a legitimate question. By the way, when would you say the saints inherited the kingdom? (Dan. 7:15-27). Do you see that as the 2nd cent. BC? do you see that as AD 70 as I do (cf. Mark 8:38-9:1) or are you still waiting for it?

Duncan

ThomasS's picture

Duncan,

Thanks for your comments. I do understand that you will save some of your thoughts for the published version of the book. However, some of your comments are in need of some further comments:

You wrote:

"You are exactly right that the destruction of the fourth beast is talking about something more than the destruction of the Roman Empire (which obviously did not happen in AD 70)."

My point was (and still is) that all the four empires were destroyed before the Messianic kingdom was established. That makes an identification of the fourth kingdom with the Roman Empire rather difficult -- at least from a Christian perspective. The Roman Empire existed for centuries after 70 CE. There is nothing in the Book of Daniel that would suggest that the Messiah (or the Son of Man) and the fourth kingdom would coexist.

You wrote:

"I will make a couple of comments on the hypothesis that Daniel is mainly talking about the 2nd century BC and Antiochus IV (...)".

For the record: I have never stated that the Book of Daniel is mainly talking about the 2nd century BCE. Mostly, the Book of Daniel is about the "70 years for Babylon" (Jer 25:12; 29:10) as experienced from the perspective of an exiled Jew in Babylonia. My main point is that I do not see the Roman Empire in the prophecies given in Dan 2, 7-8 and 11.

You wrote:

"First Jerusalem and the temple were not destroyed in the second century BC (Dan. 9:26-27). That happened in AD 70."

I accept the possibility that Dan 9:24-27 could be related to Jesus -- at least from a Christian perspective. I am, however, not able to see how that proves that the fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire. One should also note that there are several difficulties with the traditional Messianic interpretation of Dan 9:24ff. Finally, one might argue that the prophecy in Dan 9:24-27 offers an explanation or continuation of the prophecy of Dan 8. There are obvious parallels/connections between them.

You wrote:

"Daniel 12 also shows AD 70 as the end point as it says all that was talked of in Dan. 11 and 12 would be fulfilled by the (AD 70) destructtion of the Jewish nation (Dan. 12:7). Included in that are the great tribulation and the resurrection (Dan. 12:1-2). Jesus certainly saw one of the abomination of desolations in Daniel ( I would say the one in Dan. 9:27 and 12:11) as yet to happen in his generation, not in the second century bc. (Matt. 24:15-35). Was Jesus wrong on this?"

The fact is that the NT is almost completely silent on Dan 9:24-27 -- with the possible exception of Matt 24:15. But here Jesus' words could be taken as an example of reapplication or reuse of prophetic discourse, so common in the New Testament.

It is quite true that the 'absolute end' of all things (viz. the resurrection and the general judgment) implied by Dan 12:1ff. is said to occur after the fall of the northern King (a Syrian king, possibly Antiochus IV). But that does not prove that the fourth kingdom in Dan 2 and 7 is the Roman Empire!

Finally, you ask:

"By the way, when would you say the saints inherited the kingdom? (Dan. 7:15-27). Do you see that as the 2nd cent. BC? do you see that as AD 70 as I do (cf. Mark 8:38-9:1) or are you still waiting for it?"

I believe that Christ and his saints inherited the kingdom in the first century CE as implied by the New Testament.

Regards

Thomas S.

Duncan's picture

Hi Thomas,

I just spent an hour and a half writing a response to what you wrote and then backed out of it to copy more of what you wrote ( I was cutting and pasting what you wrote). Somehow I was not able to get back to what I wrote; it was gone. I am not too happy about that (#$#$*@#$%$#%!!!). Anyway it is bed time. Maybe I will write more maybe not, it takes so much darn time. Below is a question to leave you.

Duncan wrote: "By the way, when would you say the saints inherited the kingdom? (Dan. 7:15-27). Do you see that as the 2nd cent. BC? do you see that as AD 70 as I do (cf. Mark 8:38-9:1) or are you still waiting for it?"

Thomas responded: I believe that Christ and his saints inherited the kingdom in the first century CE as implied by the New Testament.

Duncan then responds: If the saints inherited the kingdom in the first century then how could the saints in Dan.7 inheriting the kingdom be anything else then the first century? It happens at the coming of God at the defeat of the little horn of the fourth beast (Dan. 7:21-22; cf. Rev. 19:11-21). It doesn't happen some time after the destruction of the fourth beast it happens at that time. It is the coming of God that destroys the fourth beast. By the way the first 3 beasts are not destroyed at that time but are allowed into the kingdom age (minus their authority which is given to the saints Dan.7:11-12). As I said before this is talking about something more than just empires. By the way, When exactly do you believe the saints inherited the kingdom in the first century? You seemed a little uncertain on that point.

Duncan

ThomasS's picture

Duncan,

Thanks for your comments!

You ask:

"If the saints inherited the kingdom in the first century then how could the saints in Dan.7 inheriting the kingdom be anything else then the first century?"

I do not understand your question; as far as I can tell, I have never argued that the 'saints' in Dan 7 inherited the kingdom before (or after) the first century CE.

You wrote:

"It [= the 'saints' of Dan 7 inheriting the kingdom] happens at the coming of God at the defeat of the little horn of the fourth beast (Dan. 7:21-22; cf. Rev. 19:11-21). It doesn't happen some time after the destruction of the fourth beast it happens at that time."

I have to disagree. The only thing sure about the coming of the Son of Man (Dan 7:13) is that it happens after the fall of the fourth empire (Dan 7:11), which pretty much excludes any identification of the fourth kingdom with the Roman Empire (unless one would argue that the Roman Empire was destroyed in the first century CE).

I am not sure that Dan 7:21-22 would correspond to Rev 19:11-21. But I will look into that.

You wrote:

"It is the coming of God that destroys the fourth beast."

I guess you are referring to Dan 7:9-11. As I see it, in vv. 9-11 Daniel was given a vision telling him that God would act directly against the fourth kingdom (which in turn corresponds to Dan 8:25b and Dan 11:45). The theophany (in Dan 7: 9-11) experienced by Daniel does not demand a literal coming of God or a destruction of Jerusalem.

You wrote:

"By the way the first 3 beasts are not destroyed at that time but are allowed into the kingdom age (minus their authority which is given to the saints Dan.7:11-12)".

Again, I have to disagree. What we are told in Dan 7:12 does not necessarily imply that the first three empires would be allowed to live "into the kingdom age". As I see it, Dan 7:12 corresponds to Dan 2:35, 44-45, in which we are told that all parts of the statue would fall at the same time. Thus, while the fourth kingdom would loose its power and be killed at the same time, the first three beasts were killed some time after they lost "their ruling authority" (Dan 7:12, NET). Based on a comparison of Dan 7 with Dan 2, I would say that the first three beasts were killed at the same time as the fourth beast -- cf. "Not a trace of them [all four parts of the statue] could be found" (Dan 2:35, NET).

You wrote:

"As I said before this is talking about something more than just empires."

You may or may not be right about that. My point is that there are difficulties with the identification of the fourth kingdom with the Roman Empire due to the information we get from Dan 7. It could very well be that the fourth beast represents an evil force of the spiritual realm; but that will not help your identification of the fourth kingdom -- even if you would argue that only the evil force behind the fourth kingdom was destroyed in the first century CE. Such a destruction in the super-natural world would necessarily imply a parallel in the natural world; as the Roman Empire continued its existence until the fifth century CE, I simply do not see the prophetic vision of Dan 7:7-12 materialised in the first century CE.

You ask:

"By the way, When exactly do you believe the saints inherited the kingdom in the first century? You seemed a little uncertain on that point."

I tend to see the fulfilment of Dan 7:13-14 in the glorious resurrection of Christ and/or the ascension to Heaven (cf. Matt 28:18). In the Book of Revelation we see the Christian martyrs together with Christ in the Heavenly kingdom. We should have in mind that Dan 7 does not say that the 'saint' would inherit the kingdom *immediately* after the fall of the fourth kingdom.

I hope this helps!

Regards

Thomas S

Duncan's picture

Hi Thomas,

I don't have time to say much more here. I have made some more comments to Tony on my position on the kingdom (see below). Your questions have inspired me to do a column on the connections between the fourth beast of Dan. 7 and the beast of Revelation. I might get around to that in a few weeks or so.

Oh I have to say one more thing. Dan.7:11-12 shows the fourth beast being destroyed in the fire (cf. Rev. 19:20). The first 3 beasts were not destroyed at that time, however. Yes one has to harmonize that with Dan. 2. But Dan. 2 does not negate what Dan. 7:11-12 says.

God Bless,

Duncan

ThomasS's picture

Duncan,

I am looking forward to reading your new column.

I think it's impossible to equate the fourth beast in Dan 7 with the beast of Revelation.

According to Dan 2, all beasts were destroyed at the same time. This is important. I see dan 7:11-12 in the same way.

Regards

Thomas S.

Duncan's picture

Thomas,

One thing before I go. I guess I am not totally clear on what you think the four beasts refer to.

Duncan

ThomasS's picture

Duncan,

I think the four beasts in Dan 7 (cf. the four parts of the statue in Dan 2) are four empires. The first is the Neo-Babylonian empire, the fourth beast has to be related to Antiochus IV. (cf. the 'little horn' in Dan 7 and 8).

The beast in Rev 13:1f.; Rev 17ff. is probably the Roman Empire.

Regards

Thomas S.

Duncan2's picture

Hi Thomas,

I will give you some answers when I get home from work (Duncan2 is my work computer). They are very unreasonable here; they actually expect me to work...

Duncan

mitchg's picture

Welcome insight, Duncan.

I was having a conversation with my mom last evening, disclosing my preterist beliefs (my mother is a futurist), and one of her questions was "so if what you believe is true, then what are Christians supposed to do now?"

You've addressed that point very clearly, and I for one am very appreciative. Wish I had had this post last evening!

In Christ -

Mitch G.

Duncan's picture

Mitch,

I don't think anyone could give me a higher compliment than you just did. Thanks, it was a true blessing.

Go easy on your mom. When one has been a preterist for some time it is easy to forget what a mental shift it is to actually believe that Jesus returned in AD 70. As crazy as the preterist understanding is, it is what all of Scripture points to (starting in Daniel ending in Revelation). We are preteists because we believe in the Bible, that it says what it means and means what it says.

As to your mom I would suggest giving her a summary of all the NT texts that talk of the nearness (in the first century) of the Second Coming; there are a few summaries out there (anybody have a good link on that?). Then put her on the horns of a dilema. Either the NT is right and the Second Coming happened in the first century, Or it is wrong. If your mom believes in the inerrancy of Scripture, she then has a dilemma. Either what you and Scripture are saying on the timing of the Second Coming are right and the innerrancy of Scripture is upheld or what she is saying is right and the inerrancy of Scripture is shown to be false. One can't say that the Bible is innerrant except for its teaching on the timing of the Second Coming.

Duncan

Writerx's picture

More like starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation.

-A.J.

Writerx's picture

Put some spaces in there. Do the at the beginning of every paragraph.

Good column!

-A.J.

Duncan's picture

Hey A.J.

Your "good column!" comment means a lot to me. In reading your writing you strike me as both sharp and creative. How did such a hip guy as you (I say that by looking at your picture on your blog) ever become a Christian, let alone a preterist?

By the way Virgil put the spaces in for me and taught me how to put them in. Also when I first sent this article in I mispelled preterism in the title (D'oh!). Look at the spelling in the subject heading of your post.

Duncan

Writerx's picture

Thanks Duncan.

That's not actually my picture. I don't know how to do much with my blog, like set up a profile. I'm ignorant on these things. I'm a little younger than that guy appears to be, I think (18).

Yeah I had to do some trial and error with my first columns. Make use of the "preview" feature. I do that about ten times before I post stuff.

I was raised in a Christian home and made a somewhat useful Christian thanks to preterism. Soon you realize that without correct eschatology you are driving without headlights. I guess I just enjoy study. Right now I'm into the creation vs. evolution and global vs. local flood.

Thanks for your kind comments. Maybe I'll get to meet you at the truthvoice conference next summer or something.

-A.J.

Virgil's picture

AJ - e-mail me a picture that you want for the blog and a list of your favorite links and website. I'll personalize your blog for you...free of charge :)

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